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How to Modify Child Custody Arrangements

HomeBlogChild CustodyHow to Modify Child Custody Arrangements

Child custody, which is called parenting time and decision-making responsibility in Illinois, is a primary concern for divorcing parents and for parents who were never married. While the parenting arrangements that you and your children’s other parent agreed to earlier – or that were handed down by the court – may have made sense at the time, modifications are often necessary. 

The court recognizes that, as children develop and families evolve, modifications of parenting time are often a necessity. If you find yourself in this situation, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Illinois family law attorney on your side. 

When You Both Agree

If you and your children’s other parent are both in agreement regarding a modification to your parenting time schedule, the court is very likely to accept the changes presented. Ultimately, the court takes the children’s best interests into consideration, but if you have come to a mutual agreement, it’s unlikely to be deemed outside of your children’s best interests. 

It’s important to note that even if you and your ex are both in complete agreement about the modifications you implement, you should make the matter official with the court. The order originally handed down by the court remains in effect until it is officially modified, which means that – if your ex changes his or her mind – you could be found in contempt of court simply for adhering to a modification that you both agreed upon. 

A Two-Year Lapse

One of the factors courts consider when it comes to the best interests of children is providing them with a stable living environment. As such, the court requires that parents wait at least two years from the time that child support arrangements are initially handed down – or that a prior modification has been made – before seeking a modification. Only if the current parenting time schedule endangers the children in some way will the court consider a modification prior to this two-year mark. 

Applying for a Modification

In order to obtain a parenting time modification, you’ll need to address all the following:

  • You’ll need to file a motion to modify in the county where your original orders were signed. 
  • If you and your children’s other parent are in agreement, you can file a joint motion to modify. 
  • You will need to submit an affidavit (under penalty of perjury) that your case supports the modification requirements.
  • The judge may order a formal parenting evaluation.
  • There will likely be status hearings, and the court will provide you and your ex with opportunities for settling your modification outside of a full trial. 

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney

If you need a parenting time modification – or are facing one – Cameron H. Goodman at Goodman Law Firm is an accomplished Illinois family law attorney who recognizes the significance of your case and is well prepared to assertively advocate for your parental rights and for a parenting time modification that works for you. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact us today.

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